Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11
So for better or worse learning to deal with crowded boat conditions is a skill many have to develop like it or not.
I spent quite a bit of time on a 33 foot sail boat and on small power boats in South Florida which taught me to deal with crowded, shallow, and narrow waterways full of crazy, drunk and/or ignorant boaters decades ago.
We were out in WA recently on a very nice 50 footer that was like a space ship compared to what I was used too back in the day. It was interesting to me as I fell back into the groove of operating the boat on the wide, deep to infinity, and empty waterway. Compared to South FLA that is.
I found myself keeping way to the right in the channel, though it was not required, since there was very little traffic and the channel was huge by ICW standards. And the water was soooooo deep out there! Dozens if not a hundred fathoms, not 4-6 feet!
Some people got nervous on the boat when we had a bit less then 30 feet of water under the keel yet 2-3 feet was deep for us back in FLA.
The only boat that was sorta in the crazy column was a sail boat that was drifting the channel.
Not a big deal since the channel was wide and deep but it was kinda hard to figure out what they were doing...
The view out of the back of the boat was sorta blocked by a dinghy which bothered me since I am so used to watching 360 degrees around the boat. I found myself sticking my head out of the pilot house to get a better view.
I was surprised at how quickly the old habits reappeared and I really missed being on a boat that size...
I surely do not miss the craziness of South FLA. I am sure it is worse now that when I lived there. I remember seeing a boat run into a navigation marker. Then there was the guy on a go fast boat that went speeding down a narrow water way at low tide. The channel even at high tide was smaller than his boat length and the channel twisted and turned every which way. How he did not kill himself or people on another boat amazes me.
Course, the worse thing I ever saw on a boat in South FLA, was an older, rather overweight, woman wearing a thong on the bow of the boat.
I learned to boat defensively in FLA...
The accident in dinner key is horrible but unfortunately they happen everywhere from time to time.